An Introduction to the Global Soil Status
During the last decades, the total area of arable land decreased worldwide, mainly due to unsuitable land usage related to agricultural practices. The Third Agricultural Revolution and growing food de-mands have put critical stress on agricultural land, resulting in serious soil degradation. As a result of modern agricultural practices, both chemical and physical degradation of soil can occur. An inter-related factor contributing to the loss of arable land is erosion, which is a naturally occurring pro-cess, but can be accelerated by human activities. This paper reviews research conducted on the soil situation in these six continents: Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Europe and Australia, and therefore provides a global overview. Geographically specific causes for soil loss are also given. Soil management and monitoring systems are recommended; however, it should be noted that each system needs to be adapted to its specific environment.